When we first started making our own condiments, a mustard recipe was one of the first we tackled.
It is incredible how easy it is to make homemade mustard. And once you have the technique down you can vary it however you like!
One of our favorite varieties is a spicy whole grain mustard.
Something about that two-toned, slightly textured, boldly flavored mustard would always win us over spread on anything from turkey sandwiches to burgers and brats.
I always prefer to use whole spices when possible. I find that the flavor of whole spices is just so much more fresh and potent compared to pre-ground versions.
Once you grind spices, you release their oils, and over time they can go bad or at least lose their potency. And unless you have a good spice shop nearby, you don’t really know how long those ground spices have been hanging out on the store shelves.
So, while you can make easy homemade mustard from mustard powder, I always like to start with whole mustard seeds.
(When it comes to mustard, you don’t even need a spice grinder to get into those whole seeds. So there’s even more reason to start whole!)
The one thing about homemade mustard with whole mustard seeds is that it does take a bit of planning ahead.
Since we’re not breaking those tiny seeds down with a spice grinder, we have to soak them overnight to get them soft enough that we can transform them into tasty mustard.
Also, once your mustard is made, it is typically quite strong.
If you like strong mustard, feel free to use it right away, but we have found that letting the mustard mellow in the refrigerator for 2-3 days is just perfect for getting the whole grain mustard flavor we love.
I’ll admit, there are a number of times when I have forgotten that we were out of mustard, and I have rushed the mustard process by heating the seeds in their soaking liquid.
True, heat will cause the seeds to soften in a matter of minutes rather than hours. And it does mellow the spicy mustard flavor in hours rather than days. But, we always noticed that these heated mustards tasted a bit off, somewhat bitter, even after mellowing for a week or more!
Then I learned that heat activates an enzyme in the mustard seeds that kills those little seeds’ flavor!
So, while hurrying the soaking process with hot liquids will work, you’ll always end up with sub-par mustard.
Brown (or red) mustard seeds have a more intense flavor than the yellow variety, so using both in this mustard gives it a nice spiciness that is balanced by the tang and sweetness of apple cider vinegar.
Prep: 5 min (plus 3 days resting time) | Yield: ¼ cup